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Canada signs $78 million bilateral agreement to help residents of Newfoundland and Labrador age with dignity

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by ahnationtalk on May 21, 202419 Views

From: Health Canada

May 21, 2024

Every senior in Canada deserves to age in dignity, safety, and comfort, regardless of where they live. That is why the Government of Canada is investing close to $200 billion over 10 years, which includes $5.4 billion for tailored bilateral agreements with provinces and territories on Aging with Dignity.

Today, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Labour and Seniors, on behalf of the Honourable Mark Holland, Canada’s Minister of Health, and the Honourable Tom Osborne, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Minister of Health and Community Services, announced a bilateral agreement to invest $78 million over the next five years to help residents of Newfoundland and Labrador age with dignity. This funding builds on the close to $256 million bilateral agreement that was announced with the province in March of 2024.

Federal funding will support Newfoundland and Labrador’s five-year action plan to improve health care for seniors. The plan will:

  • Improve home and community care systems
    • Hire additional clinical staff to increase access to care and support;
    • Utilize technology for new service delivery models and implement initiatives for timely access to home supports and care needs, medications, and medical equipment based on clinically assessed needs;
    • Support individuals living with dementia through new community-based supportive care options and more training courses; and
    • Increase options for restorative and rehabilitative care in the community.
  • Enhance palliative and end-of-life care
    • Support a new 10-bed community hospice in Grand Falls-Windsor;
    • Improve access to supports and services for individuals at end of life living at home; and
    • Improve palliative and end-of-life care through more training and education opportunities for care providers.
  • Strengthen the workforce
    • Establish a geriatric medicine fellowship at Memorial University;
    • Fund wage increases for more than 1500 personal support workers (PSW) employed in personal care homes, and bolster recruitment and retention initiatives for those providing care; and
    • Support training to improve health care outcomes and promote independence and well-being.
  • Enhance the quality of care and quality of life through improved long-term care standards
    • Ensure long- term care home standards align with national standards;
    • Improve quality of life and quality of care, as well as staff work life balance; and
    • Implement a person-centered care approach to care through social and recreational programming, access to behaviour management specialists, and advanced dementia care education.

Progress on these initiatives and broader commitments will be measured against targets which Newfoundland and Labrador will publicly report on annually.

Through this new agreement and the Working Together agreement signed in March 2024, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador will work with the Government of Canada to improve how health information is collected, shared, used and reported to Canadians; streamline foreign credential recognition for internationally educated health professionals; facilitate the mobility of key health professionals within Canada; and fulfill shared responsibilities to uphold the Canada Health Act to protect Canadians’ access to health care based on need, not the ability to pay.

Recognizing the significant disparities in Indigenous health outcomes, the Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador also commit to meaningfully engaging and working together with Indigenous partners to support improved access to quality and culturally appropriate health care services. Newfoundland and Labrador’s action plan is informed by continued engagement with its Indigenous partners and supported by the recent trilateral discussions involving the federal government. All levels of government will approach health decisions in their respective jurisdictions through a lens that promotes respect and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

Newfoundland and Labrador and the federal government will continue working together to improve health services and deliver results for seniors across the province, including responding to the needs of rural, remote, Indigenous and other underserved and disadvantaged populations.


“No matter where you live, every Canadian deserves access to safe and high quality health care at every stage of their lives. By working together with Newfoundland and Labrador this agreement will help transform the health care system so that across the province seniors can get the care they need.”

The Honourable Mark Holland
Minister of Health

“Seniors deserve to age with dignity and choice. So they can age on their terms. A strong healthcare system lets seniors age on their own terms.”

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr.
Minister of Labour and Seniors

“The Aging with Dignity Action Plan allows us to continue to improve access to and quality of community supports and long term care services for seniors. This agreement also aligns with Health Accord NL which identifies Aging Population as a priority. By working together with our Federal partners and our stakeholders, Newfoundland and Labrador will continue to be a leader in modernizing and transforming health care, and so that our seniors can age with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

The Honourable Tom Osborne
Minister of Health and Community Services

Quick facts

  • Under the Working Together to Improve Health Care for Canadians plan, the Government is working with provinces and territories to implement two series of bilateral agreements, one of which is focused on helping Canadians age with dignity, closer to home with access to home or community care or care in a safe long-term care facility.
  • The Aging with Dignity agreement, which complements the Working Together agreement, includes $2.4 billion ($600 million per year for fiscal years 2023-24 to 2026-27) over four years to improve access to home and community care from Budget 2017; and $3 billion ($600 million per year for fiscal years 2023-24 to 2027-28) over five years for long-term care from Budget 2021 to apply standards of care in long-term care facilities and help support workforce stability. Newfoundland and Labrador’s 5-year Aging with Dignity Agreement and Action Plan can be found here.
  • Budget 2023 outlined the Government of Canada’s plan to invest close to $200 billion over 10 years, including $46.2 billion in new funding for provinces and territories, to improve health care for Canadians. Within this funding, $25 billion is allocated through tailored bilateral agreements to address the unique needs of their populations and geography in four shared health priorities:
    • expanding access to family health services, including in rural and remote areas;
    • supporting health workers and reducing backlogs;
    • increasing mental health and substance use support; and
    • modernizing health care systems with health data and digital tools.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador’s three-year Working Together Agreement and Action Plan, announced in March 2024, is associated with the above shared health priorities and can be found here.
  • The Working Together investment includes, a guaranteed 5 per cent Canada Health Transfer (CHT) increase for the next five years — estimated to amount to $17.5 billion – and a one time CHT $2 billion top-up to address to urgent needs of emergency rooms and paediatric hospitals delivered in June 2023. Combined, these investments provide provinces and territories the flexibility to address the unique needs of their populations and geography, and accelerate health care system improvements.
  • Budget 2017 committed $11 billion over 10 years in federal funding to provinces and territories to improve access to home and community care, and mental health and addictions services for Canadians. Bilateral agreements were signed with provinces and territories to access the first six years of that funding. The final four years of funding for mental health and addictions are included in the new Working Together bilateral agreements.

Associated links


Christopher Aoun
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Mark Holland
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Health Canada

Public Inquiries

Tina Coffey
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
Health and Community Services


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